Choosing a sandblasting abrasive for your wheels
For many blasting projects, choosing the blast abrasive can be one of the most difficult yet most important tasks, and this includes choosing which abrasive media to use for wheels.
When blasting an aluminum wheel, start by considering the thickness of the layer(s) you’re attempting to remove. Chances are, it’ll be best to use a gentle yet effective type of blast media that will leave the underlying aluminum smooth and free of any warping based on impact.
For this, most blasters seem to use abrasive media that tends to be on the softer side—glass or plastic beads, walnut shells, or corn cobs. These abrasive will most likely remove the layer of paint, rust, or other coating without damaging the wheel itself. In this case, the softer the blast media, the less likely it is to cause any damage, but the more likely it is to take longer to accomplish. However, new superoxalloy abrasives from 10X engineered materials offer high speed and a clean profile. Read on to learn more about superoxalloy abrasives.
More solid forms of blast abrasives, like aluminum oxide or garnet, are stronger and sharper, and are therefore more likely to leave embedded particles or leave the wheel textured. They will probably work quickly, but will likely not leave the desired outcome.
What’s the best abrasive blast media to use on wheels?
Alternatively, the EpiX and KinetiX line of superoxalloy abrasives by 10X Engineered Materials will efficiently remove the coatings from the wheels and leave a clean substrate, free of embedded particles in the surface which may trigger rust bloom.
They can remove thick coats of paint, and they remove heavy rust at speeds from 30 to 60 percent faster than other abrasives. Blasters say that they work better than garnet, slags, steel grit, steel shot staurolite, and glass beads when removing rust.
On top of all that, they’re ultra safe with no free silica, no beryllium, no crystalline structures, and no heavy metals. They’re reusable and are virtually dust-free, leaving a clean, visible workspace.
Currently, KinetiX and EpiX are available from abrasive distributors around the US. If you don’t see a distributor near you, contact 10X and we will work with you to get you what you need. EpiX abrasive, which is best for precision applications such as powder coating and medical applications, is also available to purchase directly from the 10X Engineered Materials website.